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Opening Of Desalination Plant On South Coast Encounters Problems, Delays

Santa Barbara's long awaited desalination plant, in the planning stages for months, will not open in October as scheduled.

Due to soil contamination issues and technical problems at the Yanonali Street site, the water may not flow until late December.

The desalination plant comes with a projected price tag in excess of $55 million.

A report to city leaders later today says conservation goals will have to stay at or above 35 percent, especially in August and September.

Water managers will also talk about other supply options, including an increase in state water allocations and water purchases from outside-area farmers with excess resources, that can be delivered through the coastal aqueduct.

Rainfall totals for five years have been below the long term average. Surface water resources are depleted. Groundwater wells that are available throughout the city are in full use.

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